A day does not go by where I do not listen to music, there are just some things that I cannot do without listening to music. This may seem a bit ridiculous but music can highly affect my mood. I always try to stay informed of new music that is coming out as well ass listen for new artists or big things that will be happening in the music industry. PR is a large component in the music industry, it has a lot to do with the new ideas and news reaching the listeners rather than specifically the music.
With an industry as competitive as this an artist needs a team who can fight to the death and isn’t afraid to play dirty. For an artist to get famous it is crucial that their PR team is constantly in the loop and has very broad connections. Nobody really wants to air their dirty laundry but sometimes that is just what an artist needs. A PR person who works for an artist needs to keep the artist’s name in the media, to keep them relevant. This might mean that a scandal needs to reach the public, or even booking an interview with the right TV personality. Blogger Jacqueline Akbarian (2010) says “I believe the record labels and publicity team of both the superstars, knew exactly how they were going to brand both women, and knew exactly that both these woman would follow with the idea.” This is definitely true, PR pros know their client and they know what is going to get them the most publicity and what will bring their client into the lime-light. Generally their clients will go the ideas no matter how crazy they might seem. It’s all about staying relevant in this industry, especially with the numerous social media outlets that constantly publish information about artists.
Another element that falls under the larger umbrella of the music industry is the upcoming artists who people don’t even know about. These artists and record labels tend to start out independently and usually don’t have the cash flow to make it big on their own. They desperately need PR to get their name in some sort of higher music industry lime-light. Grace Lavigne (2012) states in her blog post, “An independent artist needs PR to promote a tour stop before and after every appearance. They need it to appear in every blog and e-zine possible, and they need guidance on how to optimize social media”. Music blogs are very useful when trying to find new music because the people who write for the blogs usually have connections with people in the music industry, which allows them to give their followers exciting updates about their favorite artists. With a large follower base people who are somehow influenced by music are looking at these blogs and magazines for new an upcoming artists, who could be the next big hit. I personally follow multiple music blogs and they are the ones who are giving me new music to listen to on a consistent basis, and I usually hear about music news and events first from these blogs.
In the quote mentioned above, artists need guidance on their social media use. Social media is a large outlet that can be used for PR and publicity. A large amount of musical artists have a PR team that manages their social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter. But there are just as many artists who actually use their Facebook and Twitter themselves. Kanye West for example uses his own twitter and you can definitely tell. His tweets are usually personal to his own thoughts and you definitely wouldn’t expect a PR team to write them. He also has been in multiple twitter fights with Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa, which I’m sure a PR team would advise against doing so. Another artist that personally uses their Twitter is Azealia Banks, prior to deactivating her twitter recently, Banks was notoriously known for “throwing shade” and starting drama with other artists and even some of her followers. Beside her music career, people started to resent her solely because of her twitter drama.
Solis and Breakenridge state that “Social media represents a shift from a broadcast mechanism to a many-to-many model, rooted in a conversational format between authors and peers within their social channels”. Social media and PR in the music industry has allowed the artist become more personable towards their followers and their fans. Although Twitter allows only 140 characters, artists can still connect with their followers in a conversational format. The social channels of these “conversations” are solely music and integrative ideas that these artists are able to share with the world. Their ideas are able to reach a large number of their fanbase on a much larger scale. (Solis & Breakenridge, 2009)
In conclusion, I think that I can affirm that PR is extremely essential and important to the music industry, because without the help of a PR professional know one would actually know the artist and the artist wouldn’t make any money. The artist wouldn’t become famous because their shows wouldn’t be promoted, no one would know of their music, and they would be another person that is making music, that no one knows about. Public Relations is essentially the backbone of the artist.
G Lavigne. (2012, June 15) Dear gracie: Take a tour of the music pr industry. Retrieved from http://www.prnewswire.com/blog/dear-gracie-take-a-tour-of-the-music-pr-industry-4163.html
J Akbarian. (2010, October 8) Pr is essential in the music industry. Retrieved from http://blog.journalistics.com/2010/pr-essential-music-industry/
Solis, B., & Breakenridge, D. (2009) Putting the public back in public relations.